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Top 15 cities with the worst mental health conditions


If you practice around these towns, your patients may have more needs than other parts of the country.

Physicians, health experts, and patients are exploring the best ways to integrate more mental health care with primary care.

Exactly how that will develop in doctors’ offices is unclear, but there is a need. Grand Canyon University (GCU) cited the National Institute of Mental Health, which estimated 57.8 million adults – more than one in five – were living with a mental illness in 2021.

Grand Canyon University (GCU) published “An Analysis of Mental Health Disparities Across the U.S.” to determine mental health conditions and mental health care availability in the 50 largest cities across the country.

For mental health conditions, GCU analyzed County Health Rankings and Roadmaps for the following factors:

  • The average number of mentally unhealthy days reported in the past 30 days.
  • Percentage of adults who report fewer than seven hours of sleep on average.
  • The number of deaths due to suicide per 100K people.

Mental health care access was based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. GCU measured the number of workers assisting with substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and mental health, per 100,000 people, and those occupations’ employment per 1,000 jobs. Their median hourly wages also were included.

Cities were rated for the various criteria, with 50 being the best possible score each for conditions and availability.

There were disparities between mental health conditions and availability.

For example, Hartford, Connecticut; New York, New York; and Boston, Massachusetts, were the top three cities for best mental health conditions and best mental health care access. Philadephia, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; and Cleveland, Ohio, were the top three for worst mental health conditions, but best mental health care access.

This slideshow lists the top 15 cities with the worst mental health conditions, among the largest 50 cities in the United States. The ranks were based on numbers of numbers of poor mental health days; insufficient sleep; and deaths due to suicide per 100 people.

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